Heath Streak banned for eight years for breaching ICC's anti-corruption code

Heath Streak introduced an Indian bookie to four different players - including a Bangladesh captain - aware that he wanted to approach them to provide inside information for betting purposes.

Streak has coached international teams and franchises.   -  H.S. MANJUNATH

Former Zimbabwe captain and coach Heath Streak has been banned for eight years after being charged with multiple breaches of the International Cricket Council (ICC)'s anti-corruption code.

One of Zimbabwe's legends, Streak has been under probe for a list of games between 2017 and 2018 - during his stint as a coach. It is believed that the matches include some in international cricket as well as for his stints in T20 leagues - including the IPL, the BPL and Afghanistan Premier League.

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Under the provisions of the Code, Streak chose to admit the charges and agreed the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing. He will be free to resume his involvement in the game on 28 March 2029.

Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity Unit, said: “Heath Streak is an experienced former international cricketer and national team coach, who had participated in numerous anti-corruption education sessions and was fully aware of his responsibilities under the Code.

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“As a former captain and coach, he held a position of trust and owed a duty to uphold the integrity of the game. He breached the Code on several occasions, including facilitating the approach of four other players. At times, he also sought to obstruct and delay our investigation.

“The offences did not affect the outcomes of any relevant matches and Mr Streak has agreed to assist the ICC anti-corruption education programme for which we are grateful. He has also expressed his remorse and contrition and entered this agreed sanction decision to avoid the need for a full disciplinary process. The sanction reflects this cooperation.”

Facilitator

The ban also has links with Streak's communication for more than a year with an Indian citizen, who sought inside information for betting purposes. The man, identified as “Mr. X,” gifted Streak with two Bitcoins, which he sold for $35,000, and a new iPhone for his wife, according to a redacted statement issued by the ICC.

The document revealed that Streak ‘actually contacted the players to effectively vouch for Mr X.’

“In the 2017 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League, Mr X asked Streak to provide him with any links, namely team captains, or owners or players, in the BPL, saying they could earn good money as a result of which they could invest in a T20 event in Zimbabwe. It appeared that Mr X wanted Mr Streak to provide him with contacts of players, team owners etc. who Mr X could then approach for Inside Information, such as which team would win a match, in upcoming matches,” the document stated.

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Streak - who served as the bowling coach of Bangladesh till 2016 - used his influence and provided Mr X with the contact details of three players in the BPL - including the details of a national team captain - in circumstances where he knew or should have known that Mr X may use these details to contact these players and request Inside Information from them for him to use for betting purposes. “Further, in respect of two of these players, Mr Streak actually contacted the players to effectively vouch for Mr X,” the document stated.

Seeking references

Mr X asked for player references for the Pakistan Super League 2018. And in relation to the 2018 edition of the Afghanistan Premier League, Streak facilitated the introduction of Mr X to one player and attempted to facilitate the introduction of Mr X to another player. “Mr X also requested, and Mr Streak provided, inside information relating to matches in the APL.”

Over the last few years, the ICC banned former cricketers like Sanath Jayasuriya and Nuwan Zoysa for breaching anti-corruption code.

READ: Shakib Al Hasan on 2019 World Cup high and dealing with ICC ban

In 2019, the then Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was banned from all cricket for two years after he accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. According to the ICC, Shakib had failed to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct - in relation to the Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe Tri-Series in January 2018 and / or the 2018 IPL - the same tournaments which are linked to Streak's case.

He also failed to disclose to the ACU, the full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct - in relation to a second approach in respect of the Tri-Series in January 2018. Shakib's suspension was lifted last year and is currently featuring in the IPL.

Zimbabwe launches probe

The Zimbabwe National Prosecuting Authority will investigate Streak to ascertain if any criminal activity has taken place with regards to his ICC ban. "The Ministry has requested the National Prosecuting Authority to ascertain whether any of the criminal laws in Zimbabwe, particularly those relating to corruption, have been breached by Heath Streak in order that appropriate action is also taken locally by the NPA," the Sports and Recreation Commission said in a statement.